Russia’s Olympic team has been barred from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. IOC made the announcement on Tuesday that there will be no Russia team at the Winter Olympics but Russian athletes will be able to compete as neutrals and the official record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals.
The ruling followed an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi.
Individuals who can prove they are clean will be invited to participate under a neutral flag and referred to as “Olympic athletes from Russia”.
IOC president Thomas Bach and his board who made the announcement at a press conference in Lausanne on Tuesday, came to the decision after reading through the findings and recommendations of a 17-month investigation headed by the former president of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid.
“This should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective anti-doping system led by Wada,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
The results are not based only on (Russia’s former anti-doping chief-turned-whistleblower) Grigoory Rodchenkov’s testimony. There is scientific evidence, witness statements documents and correspondence.The facts are that in Russia there was systemic manipulation of doping and the anti-doping system… that also took place at Sochi 2014 (Winter Olympics).”
The IOC also decided to suspend Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was also banned from any future participation at the Olympic Games.
The ROC was also fined 15 million dollars (£11.2 million) to reimburse the costs of the investigations and to contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA). And no accreditation for any official from the Russian ministry of sport for the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 which begins on February 9.